Five Tips for Stimulating Millennial’s Work Ethic

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Millennials, also known as the Net Generation or Generation Y, are people born between 1982 and 2004. The United States has approximately 83 million millennials, representing the largest generation of consumers and employees.

 

Because they’ve grown up with rapidly changing technology, millennials tend to be highly “digital,” relying on devices, apps and even artificial intelligence, on a daily basis. They’ve also enjoyed seamless technology and personalization in their customer experiences, and may bring these expectations to the workplace. And, because technology’s changed the way many professionals design their careers, millennials may also expect greater flexibility, autonomy and more personal satisfaction in their work.

 

Millennials bring unique expectations and talent to the workplace. This article gives tips on how employers can better manage and reap their enthusiasm, skills and ideas.

 

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What millennials want from work 

Millennials bring different perspectives, experiences and needs to the job. For employers who want to better manage millennial talent, it’s important that they understand what millennials value at work: 

 

  1. Flexibility: Given the chance, a whopping 90 percent of millennial employees want the option to choose where and when they work. And almost half, if pressed to choose, would rather have flexibility than a higher-paying salary.  For managers, this means that flexibility is essential to retaining this talent. 
  2. Learning and career development: In almost every organization, three-quarters of employees are working toward a promotion.  For millennials, opportunities for professional development significantly influence their decision to take a job. Companies that wish to retain these employees must work with them to help them strategize and achieve their goals. Invest in developing these employees and they will likely return the favor with more engagement and a longer tenure at your company. 
  3. Mentorship and feedback: Millennial employees want to develop their skills and highly value hands-on guidance, mentoring programs and regular feedback. About 78 percent of millennials believe that frequent face-to-face meetings with their employers are valuable. They want to learn and value the expertise of good mentors who will work with them personally. When employers tap into the knowledge and experience of senior personnel and share that resource with millennials, they can foster better work relationships and increase their retention rates.

 

5 tips to stimulate the millennial work ethic 

Generally, millennials are invested in developing their skills and careers. They’re also committed to finding meaning in their work.  This can help fuel a strong and often very focused work ethic. Employers who wish to tap into this potential need to connect with the things millennials value:

 

  1. Demonstrate accountability. r commitment to social justice, solid labor practices and ecological responsibility. To earn the loyalty and trust of your millennials, you will need to consistently fulfill those promises. 
  2. Champion diversity. Millennials expect diversity in the workplace. They also want to work for companies with diverse representation in their upper management.
  3. Encourage individuality. Many millennials see their work as a part of their identity and an expression of their interests and passions. Because they’re more personally invested, they may be more responsive to leadership styles that invite collaboration, innovation and consensus.
  4. Show appreciation. Millennials value appreciation and may be more likely to leave a job if they are not receiving it. Part of this may be due to the fact that millennials are constantly seeking ways to improve their skills and careers. If they feel they are not learning, or their strengths are not noticed and appreciated, they may see a company as a dead end.  Employers who wish to retain this talent should get to know their employees better, and acknowledge their talents.
  5. Foster relationships. Millennials prefer frequent but brief check-ins with their managers, as opposed to longer, less frequent sessions. They’re also, as mentioned above, fans of face-to-face meetings and mentorship. Employers who foster relationships – both online and in-person – provide more value for millennials who consider these connections integral to their jobs and the ways they learn.

 

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